Nov 3, 2012 5:22pm
Re: Missing volume
304. All these people fail to notice that the worship of "Reason," "Truth," "Progress," and other similar entities is, like all cults, to be classed with non-logical actions. It was born, it has flourished, and it continues to prosper, for the purpose of combating other cults, just as in Graeco-Roman society the oriental cults arose out of opposition to the polytheistic cult. At that time one same current of non-logical conduct found its multiple expression in the tauro-bolium, the criobolium, the cult of Mithras, the growing importance of mysteries, Neo-Platonism, mysticism, and finally Christianity, which was to triumph over rival cults, none the less borrowing many things from them. So, toward the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth, one same current of non-logical conduct finds its expression in the theism of the philosophes, the sentimental vagaries of Rousseau, the cult of "Reason" and the "Supreme Being," the love of the First Republic for the number 10, theophilanthropy (of which the "positivist" religion of Comte is merely an offshoot), the religion of Saint-Simon, the religion of pacifism, and other religions that still survive to our times.
1838 a. If a government desires to suppress a certain group of residues, a, it can do so most effectively by destroying, if possible, all individuals who show such residues. The effectiveness of this measure is illustrated by Spain, where the Inquisition succeeded in extirpating heresy and free-thought. Had the Roman State been able to deal with Christianity in similar fashion, it would probably have been successful in extirpating it. It failed in that because the residues, a, that found expression in Christianity, r, were the same residues that found expression in the cult of Mithras, s; in the solar (Osiris) cult /; in Neo-Platonism, v; in Philo's mysticism, x; and in many other ways, y, z f . . . and the Emperor Julian, a great enemy of the Christians, shared those residues with them. All the manifestations r, s, t,v, x, y, z . . . , so different in appearances, for the most part belonged to the one group of sentiments, a, which were shared by so many people that to destroy a would have meant destroying the entire population, virtually, of the Roman Empire, an enterprise manifestly impossible. The Emperor Constantine acted more wisely than his predecessors. He did not apply himself obstinately to destroying or modifying the sentiments a. He exploited them as instrumentalities of government (§ 1843).
1676. … The sixth type and, in more general terms, metaphysical reasonings at large, satisfy the need of logical explanation that educated persons feel (residues I-s). So, also for the seventh type and other doctrines of the kind, which dissemble brute appetite under ratiocination. The third, fourth, and fifth types aim to satisfy the instincts for combinations and logical reasoning both at the same time. They must have achieved their purpose only in part; for actually they survived but for very brief periods of time and won relatively few adherents. Religions that have endured for long periods of time and enjoyed large followings must have realized their purpose better. The ancient religion of Rome was supplanted by Greek religion because it gave no satisfaction whatever to the rationalizing instinct. [footnote] Neo-Platonism succumbed to Christianity because it gave no satisfaction to the demand for concrete combinations. So Modernism today, reviving the allegorical methods of Philo, makes no progress among the plain people because it satisfies the intellectual requirements of a mere handful of cerebrators. Theology is no longer in style even when it comes garbed in democratic toggery.
[The following is unrelated, but shows the drift of Pareto’s thought:] 1684. Some reader may perhaps have regarded my exposition of Gnosticism just above as quite superfluous and have asked: What has such nonsense got to do with sociology ? Such nonsense enters the field of sociology because it expresses sentiments that are still powerfully active in present-day society. Even disregarding such manifestations as the theories of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Comte, or humanitarian Socialism, we can any day, in England and the United States, observe the appearance and prosperous growth of Christian sects which, from the experimental standpoint, are no less absurd than Gnosticism; and to such Anglo-Saxon phenomena we must add the neo-Buddhism, the Theosophy, the Spiritualism, the Occultism, that have been winning converts all over Europe. Anyone desirous of convincing himself that moderns are no whit less adroit than the ancients in peddling balderdash as sublime truth need read, among the hosts of books available, only a volume by Sinnett on Esoteric Buddhism. [footnote]
Pareto, The Mind and Society
. [I have copied from the “plain text” of the archive.org copies, so there are some typos in it. (The “plain text”, “epub”, “kindle”, etc are made the unedited result of doing OCR of the scanned image.)]
Earlier stuff: For the justification of my suggestion, please read this: http://archive.org/post/438447
[My earlier post. Linked to save breath.]